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Tuesdays with Corti: Late Edition

Late Edition! Just now hitting the keyboard after a pre-production meeting today for Once with Associate Director Trent Stork and Choreographer William Carlos Angulo (Jeff Award winner for Paramount’s West Side Story). With rehearsals beginning in just three and a half weeks, we talked through the show from top to finish. And what a beautiful production of this contemporary romance among a group of artists have we got for you! Only six years ago, it was nominated on Broadway for eleven 2012 Tony Awards, winning eight including Best Musical.

Every time I play back these songs, the greatness in this score by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova becomes more and more real and compelling and like a dream coming true to think the time has arrived for us to be bringing this to you. The story is a tale of how we can make a change in someone that lasts a lifetime through simply loving selflessly. How change in life can save a life. How we are stuck and then unstuck. How some of us are so lucky if we can have this happen to us, just once, and that’s all it takes. We really can be a gift to each other.

I felt myself getting choked up, a little teary eyed, talking about the staging of the final moment in the play. These songs and this music will move and uplift you to give the best of yourself.

 

Yesterday was a full day of auditions for the opening show of next season, Legally Blonde. This was an invited “call back” of heavy hitters, and if it were a ball game, it’d be like watching one home run after another gettin’ hit outta the park! Big voices with personalities to match! Trent, Paramount’s Casting Director as well, debuts helming his first show here and is calling all the shots. The young women he gathered to sing were Olympian tackling what is regarded as one, if not the most, difficult and challenging roles ever written in the leading role of “Elle Woods.” And the supporting roles aren’t a walk in the park either. This Broadway hit joined the millionaires’ club for weekly grosses of over a million bucks for several weeks in 2007 and was written to impress with its vocal fireworks and a story that inspires any of us to be more than we may seem to be.

With the way we were cheering and laughing in the auditions, I can promise you, you’re in for a contemporary musical comedy love-fest beyond anything you expect!

 

Friday night, I was back at Cabaret, to be enthralled once again at the astonishing production and uniformly stunning performances therein. Raising the bar, Director/Choreographer Katie Spelman’s debut work plays remarkably to repeat viewings as this extraordinary cast grows in nuance and power, an astounding achievement buoyed by our magnificent 16-piece orchestra.

We are gifted to hear this phenomenal score by Kander and Ebb played so expertly and artfully, a ravishing, emotional experience here at Paramount.

 

Love & thanks,

Jim

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Joseph Anthony Byrd (center, tux) plays the Emcee and Kelly Felthous (black and green striped shorts w/fishnets) plays Sally Bowles in Paramount Theatre’s Cabaret. Photo credit: Liz Lauren
Joseph Anthony Byrd (center, tux) plays the Emcee and Kelly Felthous (black and green striped shorts w/fishnets) plays Sally Bowles in Paramount Theatre’s Cabaret. Photo credit: Liz Lauren